Day 67 – Autumn Equinox

Day 67 – 21st September 2010

Nyhamar Neset – an anchorage

Arrival 60°45.5’N  004° 53.7’ E

Noon – 7.00pm

Today is the Autumn equinox!  The daylight hours equal the night hours.  I’ve been on the boat for a couple of months, and my friend ‘Close By Jim’s’ warning came into my thoughts.  It was like the soothsayer’s warning “Beware the ides of March!”

The warning was “After a couple of months at sea……..everyone starts to look REAL GOOD!” Well between that and the warning of Stockholm Syndrome, I thought, excellent, I was immune. (At least my immunity held on the boat.)  Ashore the other day, even for the few hours, I was like a predatory shark, sizing up its prey.  Thankfully, I was imitating a very fussy shark, and nothing seemed tasty enough for me to get my teeth into.  Believe me, the hungry eye sees far.  Even if I had spotted suitable quarry, the approach would have been fraught with difficulty as the smell and appearance were equally frightening.  Let me describe the two separately.


Dishevelled hair, tangled and tousled with the beginnings of a dreadlock or two.  When  was a child with long flowing golden hair and one of these dreadlocks would appear, mum or dad would have got the brush and yanked and pulled at the knots till my face was fiery red and my cheeks shone with the moisture of the tear.  They had given me a choice of course.

Option 1 – cut the ‘rugs’ out

Option 2 – suffer the brushing

I chose the brush. They weren’t the sadists I’ve led you to believe.

Mum discovered ‘Tomboy.’  This was a green creamy stuff with the fragrance of apples that de-tangled hair.  Probably just conditioner, but a life saver in my eyes.  Then dad made his discovery – the wholesalers.  He arrived home with a 24 pack of shampoos and a crate of ‘Matey’. ‘Matey’ was a bubble bath, in a blue bottle with a white sailors hat for a lid.  It was horrid stuff but the bottle was cute and had a smiley face.  The shampoos were barrel sized and seemed to be around for years.  The best thing about the discovery of the wholesalers was the box of ‘Chupa Chops.’  My jaws never stopped for weeks.

My face, not as gaunt as it was, had ruddy cheeks and makeup less except for some mascara.  I still managed to smile a toothy smile when anyone walked by.  I like smiling, it’s infectious, people smile back and I feel happy.  My eyes were sparkly and I think my lips looked a little plumper than usual with the effect of the salt air, perhaps which was just wishful thinking.

The Outfit

What outfit?  What can I say, I was war and dry and nothing untoward was poking out. I had the knicker issue today.  Do I go commando or do I wear my knickers two days in a row?  It was either that or take a dirty pair out of the laundry bag!  No, I’d rather wear them two days in a row rather than put on something dirty.

The Smell

I was clean, but my trousers were not.  With my hair being such a mess, I felt dirty.  Once, when my friend and I were heading out on the town, she offered me a spray of perfume, I declined, telling her I was opting for the pheromone scent.  I remember the laughs of the two of us.  I told her it was a proper experiment as I was ovulating and I wanted to see if I appeared more attractive with my natural scent.  I had showered, just no artificial fragrances were added.  Incidentally, my favourite perfumes are Chanel No5 and Yves St Laurent’s Opium. So yesterday, I was pure pheremones, and my only interaction with a male brought an abundance of food, wine and coffee!

Perhaps I looked like a starving waif?  I’m laughing as I write this, ‘cos, honestly, I’ve not lost a single gram since I joined the boat.  My vision of a lean and toned sailing goddess hasn’t quite materialised!

I had a spot on my face today and it was one time I wished we had big seas.  At least I wouldn’t have had time to squeeze the dam thing. I couldn’t resist the urge. So there I was, nearly in Bergen, a chance to go ashore, and me with an enormous zit on my chin, ablaze like a volcano about to erupt.  Me, that hardly ever gets a spot.

Menu today

Breakfast – Porridge with prunes apples and raisins and pancakes

Lunch –  Chicken and coleslaw sandwiches

Dinner – Chicken and rice with peppers, onions broccoli with chilli and garlic

Snacks – Not a single thing………..except chocolate cake

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

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